The primary benefit of the sauna is that it induces sweating. Although, many of us go to great lengths to avoid sweating and perspiration; sweating have two essential functions; it cools you down, and it rids the body of waste products.
The body contains two main types of sweat glands:
Apocrine glands located mostly in the armpits, pubic hair, and scalp. They secrete sweat that contains fat and other organic compounds. (Bacteria on the skin interacting with these compounds is what causes body odor.) These glands, which become functional at puberty, also emit hormones as well as pheromones believed to attract the opposite sex.
Eccrine glands, which number more than 2 million and are scattered all over the body, are the real workhorses when it comes to sweating.Activated by heat, stress, and emotions these glands secrete odorless, watery sweat that cools you down as it evaporates on the skin.
Sweating mobilizes toxins stored in the fat while enhancing elimination. If you have been around a smoker or a drinker you know the smell of nicotine or alcohol as it literally pours out of their skin in their sweat. The same is true for less obvious things like toxic chemicals as well as heavy metals.
Several researchers have looked into the benefits of the infrared dry sauna. One most notable study was the Hubbard Sauna Detoxification Program. This protocol involves daily exercise followed by sitting in a sauna for two and a half to five hours a day, with breaks for cooling and rehydrating. Participants in this program also take niacin to stimulate circulation as well as fat mobilization in addition to various other multivitamins and polyunsaturated oils.
Another recent study was performed on the NYC Rescue workers after September 11th, where massive amounts of toxins were released and firemen, policemen, and other rescue and cleanup workers bore the brunt of this environmental disaster. The project was known as the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project and addressed acute respiratory distress that was common in this group. However, over subsequent weeks and months, a significant number of individuals experienced a wide range of health issues, including gastrointestinal complains, worsening pulmonary problems, depression, irritability, and various cognitive disorders.
From a period of September 2002 to September 2005, more than 500 rescue workers, the majority being firefighters between the ages of 35 and 45, completed the sauna program and had fantastic results.
Before the Treatment
- They missed a median of 2.1 days of work per month
- Had 4.4 days of limited activity
- Symptom severity scores, which related to 10 systems, including skin, respiratory, emotional, cognitive, and musculoskeletal were high
- Half of the participants were taking prescription medication to manage their symptoms
- The number of missed workdays fell to .2
- Symptom scores dropped dramatically
- 84 percent of participants had discontinued all of their drugs because symptoms resolved themselves
- They also reported marked improvements in thyroid function, balance, reaction time, as well as IQ
This was achieved after consistent Infrared Dry Sauna Therapy treatments.
The benefits of the sauna also extend past detoxification with the positive impact on the heart. Sitting in the sauna has effects similar to exercise. The heart is given a gentle workout while the heat of the sauna dilates the capillaries and improves blood flow.
In the American College of Cardiology, it was founded that 15 minutes in a sauna per day for 14 days improved the function of endothelial cells lining the arteries by 40 percent. While Japanese researchers found sitting in the sauna was helpful in working with people with congestive heart failure. After taking daily saunas for four weeks, 13 of 15 patients with serious heart failure had decreases in blood pressure and improvements in the hearts pumping ability measurement known as ejection fraction, as well as exercise tolerance, and oxygen uptake.
Additional Benefits of the Sauna
Other conditions the Infrared Dry Sauna is beneficial to include:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Mild Depression
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Musculoskeletal Pain
- Skin Conditions
And don’t forget the sauna is safe, gentle, easy, and effective. The infrared is one of our basic detox services and is used in sick care visits, routine detoxification programs, and services in our practice as well as including in ongoing naturopathic healthcare.
Book your first dry sauna appointment today along with a complimentary wellness visit here.
All information contained in this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.
New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project
Journal of the American College of Cardiology March 6, 2002 (Volume 39, Number 5) Kihara T, Biro S, Imamura M, et al Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2002;39(5):754-759
Japanese Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16105634